Tuesday, October 31, 2017


by Jeffi Ann Thomas


MUMBAI, OCT 31, 2017: One hundred and forty children infected with AIDS and over hundred parents had a reason to smile as Don Bosco Centre for Learning (DBCL) organised a 'Diwali Mela' at the DBCL campus in Kurla on October 28.


The event has been a tradition that DBCL has been following for years, with the aim of spending time with youth and their families and showering them with love and happiness.


Father Leon Cruz, administrator, DBCL Kurla, Father Cyril De Souza, campus minister, Vijaya Jagdale from Lions club Ghatkopar, Shirley from Inherwheel club, Thane, Madhuri from SBI life and Prabha Desai, Director of Sanmitra Trust were present at the inauguration ceremony.


Participants registered for the event at the onset and then enjoyed twelve different indoor games as an ice-breaker. To add to their excitement, prize coupon sheets were distributed during the time of registration, which would have been valid if they won a certain game. At the end of the indoor game session, prizes were distributed according to the number of prize coupons gained.


The youth participated in games like 'spoon and marble' and 'book balance race', while adults enjoyed 'housie'. Apart from games, activities to enhance the creativity of the youth like diya decoration, clay modelling and drawing competition were included.


A short cultural programme was arranged for the youth, which included dance performances by the dancing club members, magic show by Leo Linus and singing by Annie Renita and Rohan Kamath and students of DBCL.


Royal D'Souza coordinated the event with the help of volunteers, which included both NSS and non-NSS students from DBIT, DBC and Salesian Youth Movements. The day ended by showering the guests with Diwali presents.

Monday, October 30, 2017




KAPADVANJ, OCT 30, 2017: Sixty four youth attended a four-day Diwali youth camp, entitled 'Connect, Commit, Celebrate' which was organised in collaboration between the St. Vincent de Paul, Chad District Council and the Divine Mercy Youth Conference at the Don Bosco Kapadvanj campus from October 20 to 24 .


Youth from various parishes of the Umreth deanery of the Ahmedabad diocese participated in the camp, which focused on one particular theme per day, with different resource personnel animating the day-long sessions.


Day one was dedicated to 'commit', with Father Ajit Munis, principal of Don Bosco Kawant animating the students on the different aspects of commitment. Post-lunch the group made presentations on the various topics.


The second day was animated by social activist, Snehlata Bhatia, on 'celebrate'. She used inputs on social and communitarian inclusivity, focusing on health issues such as HIV/Aids and on gender sensitisation. The post-lunch session was animated by Father Dinesh Vasava, Director AmrutDhara Kapadvanj, and was dedicated to face painting activity and rehearsing the actions for the SYMBIOS 2017 GURAM theme song.


Father Chris animated day three on the theme 'connect', by using indoor and outdoor game-activities along with audio-visual aids to explain the connectivity and linkages possible through social media, its effects and possibilities. The afternoon session was dedicated to pocket film-making with the participants scripting, directing, acting and editing shorts on their smartphones without using any apps, on the camp theme in a time span of just 90 minutes! The cultural evening, with song and dance, had the youth swaying on late into the night and created a bonhomie that is bound to last forever.


The daily features of holy Mass, group activities, input sessions, tele-games and a panel discussion on the most pertinent youth issues were appreciated by the participants, as also by the animating sisters and priests.


Sister Elfina said, "I thoroughly enjoyed this experience along with the youth. I wanted to go away early, but the enthusiasm and high spirits of everyone made me stay on till the conclusion." Smit Macwan, one of the camp volunteers, added, "It was a learning experience for me as both- a participant and volunteer. I was excited by the pocket film-making and its outcome which is uploaded on YouTube." 


The camp concluded with each participant taking home a gift souvenir. Jasvant Macwan, Editor of the Gujarat Catholic Monthly 'DHOOT' was present throughout the camp as a senior mentor and overseer. Father Mayank Parmar, Director Don Bosco Kapadvanj provided the logistical and on-site requirements.


by Cleric Joyston Machado


LONAVLA, OCT 29, 2017: The curtain fell on GROMO 2017, the Don Bosco scouts and guides event, on October 28, with the 800 participants sharing their gratitude for the  officials and coordinators of the mega-scouting event that stretched five days at Don Bosco, Lonavla.


The day began with Scout Own, the morning prayers for the scouts and guides which focused on the theme of thanksgiving. Father Glenford Lowe led the Valedictory function, honouring the scouts, guides, officials, scout masters and guide leaders.


The Chief Guest, Dr Amol Digambar Kalekar, vice president of India Scout and Guide fellowship Lonavala Guild, was present at the Valedictory ceremony. He said, "Scouting is not only for a school child, it continues even after you are an adult."


Father Lowe called upon the Vice Provincial of the Mumbai province of Salesians, Father Savio Silveira and the Chief Guest to hand over the BOSCOREE 2018 -2019 flag to the hosts - Don Bosco Nashik. Father Lowe reiterated the words of the Vice Provincial in asking all to prepare well for the BOSCOREE, which is slated to be held from December 30, 2018 to January 3, 2019.


The five-day mega scouts and guides camp in Lonavla brought together hundreds of campers from 23 Don Bosco institutions from the Mumbai province and tested their physical endurance and creativity. During the course of the camp, the youth took a gruelling endurance test by trekking up a mountain in the vicinity. Representatives from Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh- of the province of Bombay joined forces to ignite a mega campfire.


Earlier in the camp, the campers displayed their talent and passion for knots and lashings. They used sticks and ropes to beautify the arena with projects like a monkey bridge, a pyramid tower, an arch tower and an hour-glass tower. The youth also learnt to zumba, with a professional dancer Nidhi Passi, a past pupil from Auxilium Convent- Lonavla, teaching them the finer aspects of the dance-form.   

The troop also used the event to connect with the divine, with Father Leon Rodrigues along with the help of brothers organising a session on 'God is love'. The session included an input on God's action in our life, 'What is love?' He stressed on how God works in people's life and how He shares His love through the people we encounter. The troop also participated in an all-religion prayer meeting, with scouts and guides from various religions leading prayers for the whole assembly and reminding each other that though we are many we are one body. 

With GROMO 2017 drawing to a close, eyes of all campers will be trained on BOSCOREE 2018, an all India gathering of scouts and guides from Salesian schools.

Saturday, October 28, 2017


by Cleric Joyston Machado


LONAVLA, OCT 28, 2017: On the penultimate day of GROMO 2017, scouts and guides from 23 Don Bosco schools tested their physical endurance and creativity with a range of activities that helped the campers connect with themselves and the divine at Don Bosco, Lonavla on October 27.


In the true spirit of scouting, participants embarked upon a gruelling endurance test by trekking up a mountain in the vicinity. The much-anticipated hike began at dawn, with the scouts and guides along with their scout masters, guides and officials taking to the slopes by searching for clues and keeping a check of the scouting morse codes. 

When the troop returned at noon, they connected with the divine. Father Leon Rodrigues along with the help of brothers organised a session on 'God is love'. The session included an input on God's action in our life, 'What is love?' He stressed on how God works in people's life and how He shares His love through the people we encounter.

After sunset, the troop participated in an all-religion prayer meeting, with scouts and guides from various religions leading prayers for the whole assembly and reminding each other that though we are many we are one body.

The mega campfire followed and representatives from the four states – Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh- of the province of Bombay joined forces to ignite the fire. Three guides held burning torches symbolising the theme of GROMO 2017 – Health, Harmony and Holiness. Several outstanding cultural and physical displays that were performed earlier in the course of the event were repeated at the campfire. 


Niddhi Passi, a zumba professional, impressed with a well-choreographed zumba display. The troop brought down the curtain on the mega-event by enjoying a jam session.


"I couldn't believe that even after the morning hike, there would still be energy enough for the scouts to dance in the evening; it's an event worth recalling," Trupti Sawant, a guide leader, said. 

Friday, October 27, 2017


by Cleric Joyston Machado


LONAVLA, OCT 27, 2017: Scouts and Guides from 23 schools participating in GROMO 2017, a Don Bosco scouts and guides camp, put their creativity to test and displayed the varied cultures of different regions of India at Don Bosco, Lonavla on October 26.


Displaying their talent and passion for knots and lashings, the scouts and guides used sticks and ropes to beautify the arena with projects like a monkey bridge, a pyramid tower, an arch tower and an hour-glass tower.

In line with the belief that 'Everything we learn in life is either a blessing or a lesson', the scouts and guides learnt to prepare keychains, bracelets and flower baskets - in groups- and in true familial spirit were assisted by the Salesian brothers and FMA postulants. 


The exhibition on culture and lifestyle of each region by various schools added colour and richness exemplifying GROMO 2017. Anuraddha Dhyani, one of the judges, said, "It was really wonderful to see the scouts and guides bring life through their culture and exhibit."


The young brigade gave witness to their cultural heritage, even beyond the precincts of Don Bosco Lonavla, as they walked a Peace march - Patent O Rama, sending out the message that harmony is the key to working and living together in society. The day ended with traditional dances showcasing the diversity of the country. 


"I liked everything that I did today. I learnt to work as a team with my friends and enjoyed the walk around the town of Lonavla," Bhoomika Shinde, a guide said. 


For the five-day camp, the scouts have been divided into three sub-camps each. Each camp has a patron and works towards accomplishing the goals set out. The first camp, under the patronage of Father Bianchi, include Don Bosco Naigaon, Don Bosco Kawant, Bosco Boys Home Borivli, Auxilium Convent Savedi, Don Bosco Suket and Don Bosco Lonavla.


The second scout camp, with Father Alessiare as the patron, includes troops from Don Bosco Savedi, Don Bosco Narukot, Don Bosco Alirajpur, Don Bosco Matunga, Don Bosco Shelter, Dominic Savio Andheri and Don Bosco Baroda.


The third camp, named Father Casarotti after their patron, includes Don Bosco Nerul, Don Bosco Dakor, Don Bosco Savedi (English medium), Don Bosco Borivli, Don Bosco Yerwada, Don Bosco Nashik and Don Bosco Chottaudepur.

The girl guides have also been divided into sub-camps. The first camp includes Don Bosco Naigaon, Don Bosco Kawant, Don Bosco Suket, Auxilium Convent Savedi and Auxilium Convent Lonavla, who are working under the patronage of Sister Camila.


The second camp's patron is Sister Mary Vaz and includes Don Bosco Savedi, Don Bosco Narukot, Don Bosco Alirajpur, Don Bosco Yerwada and Auxilium Convent Wadala.


The third camp, with Sister Valentina as the patron, includes Don Bosco Nerul, Don Bosco Savedi (English Medium), Don Bosco Nashik, Don Bosco Chottaudepur, Don Bosco Dakor and Auxilium Convent Bandra.

Thursday, October 26, 2017


by Clerics Chris Ferreira and Joyston Machado 


LONAVLA, OCT 26, 2017: Hundreds of scouts and guides present for the second day of GROMO 2017 – a Don Bosco scouts and guides meet – in Lonavla, participated in adrenalin pumping activities like balancing on fragile yet firm suspension bridges, tyre webs, swinging planks, monkey crawls and learning to zumba on October 25. 


In keeping with the scouting protocol, all campers rose early to the call of the bugle and proceeded for their exercises on the basketball court. For the catholic faithful, there was the celebration of the Holy Eucharist in the Aspirantes' chapel. Scout Own – the morning prayers for the non-catholics, set the tone in an equal measure. 'Health' was the theme for the day and all activities were tailored in line with the theme.


'Cleanliness is next to Godliness,' has been the mantra in scouting circles, and in line with the adage, the daily rota and troop inspections were conducted by scout officials. A range of strenuous activities, throughout the day, helped the campers maintain their fitness and beat their fear of failure.


"I'm enjoying these nice, daring, adventurous tricks that create an aura befitting a forest. Thank You Don Bosco!" Riya Fernandes from Auxilium Convent, Wadala, said. Adarsh Singh, another participant added, "This is cool American school kind of learning. Hmm... its the best moment of my life experience."


Each of the 23 participating schools used music and drama to make presentations on the GROMO 2017 theme : Health, Holiness and Harmony. The creative display was judged by Don Bosco Lonavla alumni Sessy Gomes, Ravi Stephen and Patricia D'Souza. The best act gets a chance to repeat the performance at the grand finale on the last day of the camp.


Nidhi Passi, a past pupil from Auxilium Convent, also a zumba professional injected new vigour at noon by showcasing her skills. An elaborate physical display, with participants being divided into single and mixed groups, followed. A blend of pyramids, fire-ring jumps, yoga, lezim and acrobatics made the evening solemn. 


"It is really wonderful to see scouts of such a tender age perform such elegant human feats. Don Bosco Kawant, Don Bosco Narukot and Bosco Boys Home, Borivli have been exemplary," Mark Pereira, the camp chief for GROMO 2017, said.


Sister Shobha D'Souza, in-charge of the late Sister Camila sub camp added, "The whole event is going in a fantastic way. What amazes me is that the children are giving their all – 100 percent. With the discipline in place, the camp has a smooth flow!"


As dusk fell on the camp, the 800 participants huddled together for prayer as it is rightly said, 'To end the day with the Lord is equally important just as to begin with the Lord!' The evening prayer was well developed to create a feeling of God in the camp.  

Wednesday, October 25, 2017


BClerics Chris Ferreira and Joyston Machado

LONAVLA, OCT 25, 2017: Nearly eight hundred scouts and guides, along with their respective scout masters and guide captains, are participating in a Don Bosco scouts and guides meet, popularly known as GROMO (Grow More). Themed on Health, Harmony and Holiness; GROMO 2017 began at the Don Bosco School grounds, Lonavla on October 24.

Participants from 23 Salesian schools, 23 scout troops and 16 guide troops made their way to the campsite for the mega-scouting event. They first pitched tents and then received the camp kit – the GROMO Scarf and Woggle and acclimated themselves to the campus.

The campsite was divided into three sub camps for the scouts and guides respectively. In great reverence to the workers in the vineyard of Lonavla, the sub camps were named in the honour of the Salesian fathers and sisters, namely Father Bianchi, Father Alessi, Father Casarotti and Sisters Camila, Mary and Valentina, who laboured on the soil.
Once the troop assembled at their allocated positions for a solemn welcome, the inauguration ceremony began. It was followed by a march past. Smita Patil, the principal of the Police Academy, Khandala, also the Chief Guest for the event, inspected the campsite and applauded the organisers for their efforts. She exhorted the virtues of discipline, honesty and punctuality.

After the traditional prayer song, the unfurling of the scout flag and its anthem, the guests - Patil, the Guests of Honour Father Godfrey D'Souza, the Provincial of the Salesian Province of Mumbai,  Abhishek Patil, Divesh Chauhan and Unita Doulton, illustrious past pupils of Don Bosco, Lonavla, Father Savio Silveira, the vice provincial of the Salesian Province of Mumbai, and FMA sisters were felicitated.

The scout leader for the inauguration, Parth Pujari, a scout from Don Bosco, Borivli said, "It was a moment of excitement, and the honesty of the chief guest amazed me," he added later cheekily, "I'm happy to be away from home!" Father D'Souza said, "An event of this magnitude is a beautiful learning for all in brotherhood and sisterhood."

The day included an elegant performance with flags in the colour party event and the lowering of the flag for the day. The vibrant indulgence of energy and zeal by the scouts and guides was commendable and kept the spirit of Lord Baden Powell, the Founder of the World Scouting Movement alive.
Mark Pereira, assistant district commissioner of scouting – North Mumbai and representative of the Maharashtra State Scout Council is the Camp Chief for GROMO 2017.

The other trainers who would share their expertise in the days to come, are Suresh Lohar, leader trainer for National Bharat Scouts Guides Association, Bolar Maharudra, assistant leader trainer and district commissioner of scouting, East Mumbai, Angelina Bhakre, leader trainer and district commissioner of Pune and state level in-charge of campsites, Sudhir Raul, assistant leader trainer of scouting in North Mumbai and Zahid Qureshi, HWB in scouting, training commissioner of West Mumbai and India's first and youngest bungee jumping trainer certified in Canada.


by BIS Correspondent


AHMEDNAGAR, OCT 25, 2017: Gangabai Akolkar (55) a resident of Marathwadi village, Ahmednagar is much relieved today, thanks to the water project that brings water to her village. Three months ago she had to walk for 2.5 kilometres to fetch water for her family. The 'Water Project' was implemented by Bosco Gramin Vikas Kendra (BGVK) and supported by Salesian Missions, USA.


Successive years of scanty rainfall in the villages of Marathwadi and Kolhewadi in Ahmednagar and Beed districts had made the life of villagers miserable and helpless. Lack of water had changed the natural landscape of the villages. Agricultural productivity was going down, cattle were not producing enough milk, ground water table was declining, people were migrating and children were suffering. This was how these villages were described, until BGVK intervened with its 'Water for All' project. 


For improving water security and water management, BGVK focussed on facilitating groundwater recharge and retention of water to improve soil moisture, de-silting of canal-bed, increase the green cover and laying a pipeline to the village. Along with the pipeline BGVK completed excavation of two check dams for de-silting, recharging of village wells and also constructed two drinking water tanks of 10,000 litre capacity each. The local villagers provided the technical support and manual labour, the financial support was given by Salesian Missions.

Father Rolvin D'Mello, Executive Director – Don Bosco Development Society, during the inaugural speech said, "Water for drinking and irrigation is the lifeline of people in villages. This project is our small effort to help people improve health and income and thus lead a better quality of life." 

The project has benefited 1200 people in two villages and saves at least 1000 man hours daily, which is now used more productively; and has also made the life of girls and women more comfortable in villages as they have the primary responsibility of fetching water for the family. 


The groundwater level has improved in villages, water is now available for drinking as well as for agriculture. Father George D'Abreo, Director – BGVK, who executed this project expressed his gratitude for the cooperation and participation of the villagers. "Water for All is a mission for us in Marathwada, water has given a new lease of life to these villages," he said.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017


by Father Kiran Salve


WALVANDA, OCT 24, 2017: Bosco Samajik Vikas Sanstha (BSVS) under the guidance of Father Anaclete D'Mello organised Diwali celebration for the neighbourhood children on October 16 at Walvanda, with the twofold intention of giving them the joy of Diwali and encouraging them to come for tuition classes at the campus.


The programme began at 3 pm with the lighting of the lamp, followed by Father D'Mello giving a Diwali message to the children. In a cultural programme that followed the children showcased their talents. The kids were then explained the rules of playing the fete games, which were organised by the Technical boys. 


In order to conduct the event in an organised manner, the ground work of preparing the children was done by the village animators, who visited five schools and all the Padas of Walvanda Gampanchayat.


The Diwali celebration was enjoyed by 400 children. The fete games were most popular. The day ended with a small message on preservation of nature and distribution of Diwali sweets.


by Biju Antony


KUWAIT, OCT 24, 2017: The Malayalam Community Parish Commission comprising the Latin, Syro-Malabar and Syro-Malankara rites of the St. Therese of Child Jesus parish in Kuwait helped the unprivileged expatriates of the country by organising a free medical camp – for the second year in a row - at Don Bosco School on October 13. 


The camp began with a prayer led by by Sabu Kurian. Kuruvila Thomas welcomed the guests and the patients. This was followed by the traditional lighting of the lamp by Father Derik Misquitta, Father Johnson Nedumpurath, assistant parish priest and in-charge of Malayalam community, Doctor Sebastian Mathew and Jacob Cherian. Doctor Mathew delivered a short presentation and interactive session on Diabetic Retinopathy.


A medical team comprising Doctor Mathew, Doctor Merley Elizabeth George, Doctor Divya Jayesh, Doctor Veena Muraleedharan, Doctor Sujatha Krishnakumar from Al-Bahar Ophthalmology Center, Ministry of Health and Doctor Anitha Prabhakaran from KOC hospital and around 20 nurses attended to the patients. 


Registration for the camp began three weeks prior and over 150 people availed of the medical facilities. For many, it was their first eye examination ever; for a few others, it was their first after almost 10 or 20 years. 


"Ten per cent of the cases we saw were identified as diabetic and so referrals and advice was provided. Of them, three cases were highly diabetic, needing immediate medical care. Interestingly, around 90% of those tested were found to have high blood sugar, indicating that their current treatment is not effective. Increased awareness and motivation is required for such cases," Doctor Mathew, said.

Sister Lini Sajan, the Nurses Ministry coordinator said, "It was a remarkable day. Many nurses have come directly after their night duty because it gave us the opportunity to extend our humble service to the needy people and thereby glorify God as Matthew 25:10 says 'Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me'."   


Erik Fernandez, a beneficiary said, "This has been very helpful for people like me. Each of us was treated and cared for with love. I sincerely thank the Malayalam community for this wonderful service for the deprived people."   


The medical camp coordinator, Jose Joel explained, "The reason the camp was successful was the sincere team work of all those involved. Last year the medical camp was conducted for women having Gynecological problems as part of the Year of Mercy. This same spirit of mercy still inspires us to continue it this year in another field of specialisation, Diabetic Retinopathy. By God's grace we wish to continue next year also in another medical stream." 


Forty dedicated volunteers worked very hard on mobilisation, registration, finance, arranging doctors and medical equipment, food, logistics, transportation and venue arrangements for the success of the medical camp. The event began at 10 am and ended at 3 pm with a vote of thanks by Father Nedumpurath, who thanked all team members for their dedicated service and invoked God's blessings on each member and their families.

Friday, October 13, 2017


by Mukesh Garasiya

MUMBAI, OCT 13, 2017: Twenty-six social workers from various NGOs working with children attended a seminar entitled, 'Residential Issues and Challenges Faced by NGOs while dealing with Children from Destitute Backgrounds' on October 11 at Bosco Boys Home (BBH), Borivli.

The seminar was focused not just on residential issues and challenges of NGO's, but also on bringing together like-minded NGOs on one platform for experience-sharing, to build up a strong 'network web' for support and collaboration in the future.

Father Solomon Rapol, Rector of BBH, led the group in prayer at the onset. He then introduced the work done at BBH and also introduced the staff. Datta Gade, assistant coordinator at BBH initiated the introduction of the participants.

Mayuri Raj, coordinator at BBH, underlined the purpose of the seminar. Eustace Fernandes then did a presentation, highlighting the vision, mission and the various activities and courses conducted at BBH. Pramod Nigudkar, Chief Executive Officer, MELJOL  addressed the gathering about the 'Issues and challenges faced by residential institutions while dealing with children from destitute backgrounds'. In the session, he highlighted on a few questions like: "Why do we do what we do?", "How we do what we do?" and, "what are the issues and challenges of institutions at the macro level?"

One of the statements he stressed upon was, "Children are the main stakeholders and so we need to give their opinion importance in policy making." In a discussion that followed, it emerged that government interference led to institutions closing down.

Father Rapol took charge and spoke about the 'Concerns and Challenges in YaR (Young at Risk) work today'. He based his talk on three main elements, namely, compliance, care plus and professionalism in light of the Juvenile Justice Act (JJ Act). He highlighted the need to respond to the needs of the present day YaR and stated, "…we need to respond to the needs of today not rely on old methods".  

In the post-lunch session, Mayuri Raj presented the findings of the pilot study conducted on the perception of residential children towards service providers. Father Rapol then introduced Shriram Gorude, PSI, MHB police station who spoke about the work load of the police force and how NGO's could assist in issues like tracing missing children.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017


 by Joyce D'mello Fernandes


NAVI MUMBAI, OCT 11, 2017: Don Bosco School, Nerul trumped Ryan International School, Sanpada, 5-3 on penalties to clinch the DSO Under-17 football title in a closely-contested final at Delhi Public School grounds in Nerul on September 29.


Vincent Crispin, Nikhil Bangal, Sohel Tanaji, Bryan Pereira and Umesh Yadav converted their penalties after both teams ended regulation time at 1-1. The crowd gathered witnessed contrasting tactics throughout the match, as both teams played an attacking brand of soccer in the first half. The second half saw both teams defend and push for penalties. 


The Don Bosco side shone throughout the tournament, under the guidance of their coaches Rehan Shaikh and Nikhil Aher. They beat North Point, Nerul, in the quarterfinals and SBOA in the semifinals.


"The only thing going on in my mind was that, 'if I fail, the whole team fails and I cannot let that happen'," Nikhil Bangal, the Captain, who saved two penalty shots in the final, said. "Principal Father Donald Fernandez as well as our coaches were confident in our abilities. It is their support and our teamwork that made us win!" Shantanu Vanire, added.

Thursday, October 5, 2017


by Velda Ruth


KUWAIT, OCT 5, 2017: Thirty youth from St. Therese of Child Jesus parish in Kuwait participated in a Salmiya Talent Hunt at the Indian English Academy School to mark the parish feast on September 29.   


A team of the Salmiya Parish Youth (SPY) backed by their Spiritual Director, Father Lionel Braganza organised the event which presented youth with an opportunity to showcase their talent in dance and song. Maegan D'souza won top honours, followed by Trevor Furtardo in second and Theresa Franklin in third place. Glen Vas, Mercy Joseph and Shanice D'mello judged the singing competition.


The dancing contestants then took to the stage with pomp as the judges, Vrinda Lewis and Aarti Rohtagi kept tapping their feet to the enthusiasm, rhythm and energy of the dancers. 'The Next Episode Crew' claimed first place, while Fiona Vaz bagged second place, followed by Ramona Crasto in third place.

"Talent requires a platform to be brought forth and in the modern day of social media, there are various ways of discovering and nurturing talent," Joseph, a judge, said.


Crasto, who finished third in the dance competition, added, "This gave me the opportunity to be noticed out there and kick started me in the right direction as I'm passionate about dance. I am thankful to SPY for giving me this platform!"


by BIS Correspondent


MUMBAI, OCT 5, 2017: On the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti, the Don Bosco Development Society (DBDS) organised a rally for 350 girls – from Mumbai slums - on 'Meri Suraksha, Mera Adhikar' which is 'My safety is my right' on October 2.


Father Rolvin D'Mello, Executive Director – DBDS, in his inaugural address asked participants to respect women as human beings and to ensure their dignity, safety and security is maintained. 


DBDS has been active in the sector of women empowerment for several years and organised the rally primarily with the aim of creating awareness on the issue of women safety in the society at large and also to communicate to the police and other government sectors to put 'Girl Safety' as their top priority.


The rally began from the campus of Don Bosco (Matunga), towards King Circle, Sion Hospital and ended at the Don Bosco campus again. Throughout the course of rally, the participants shouted slogans on safety and security and expressed their solidarity and commitment towards making a secure environment for girls in their homes and outside. 


"I hope that my country one day becomes a safe place for all of the girls to live and that the government and administration takes our safety as the top-priority," Shubhangi Manchar, a participant, said. 


by Linson Miranda and Jeffi Ann Thomas


MUMBAI, OCT 5, 2017: IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society(GRSS), in collaboration with Don Bosco Institute of Technology (DBIT), Kurla conducted a two-day workshop entitled 'Remote sensing and GIS in rural agricultural system' at DBIT, aimed at educating the participants about the different applications of GIS and Remote sensing in the agricultural sector on September 22 and 23.

Students and faculty from colleges across Maharashtra, industrialists, water and agricultural sector, research scholars from IIT-Bombay participated in the event.


The event began with Dr Amiya Kumar Tripathy, Dean R&D, DBIT, the coordinator and in-charge of the event  felicitating and welcoming the dignitaries, Meeta Rajivlochan, IAS officer of the Maharashtra cadre, the Principal Secretary and Director, Rashtriya Ucchatar Shiksha Abhiyaan, Department of Higher and Technical Education in the Government; Father Colbert Da'Silva, Director, DBCL, D Avik Bhattacharya, a senior member, IEEE GRSS-Mumbai Chapter and Dr Prasanna Nambiar, Principal, DBIT. This was followed by a prayer and lighting of the lamp.


Father Da'Silva addressed the participants and stressed on the need for educating the masses for life and livelihood and explained how DBIT, in collaboration with IEEE, wishes to make such data available to the masses. Dr Nambiar, in her address, spoke about how GIS as a technology can be used to mitigate problems and encouraged students to take active interest in using such technologies to solve social problems.


Anthony Lobo, Section Chair, IEEE-Mumbai Chapter, who could not be a part of the event, sent a message which was read by Dr Tripathy, in which he thanked the participants and the speakers for their presence and spoke about the importance of such workshops. Dr Avik Bhattacharya informed participants of the history of IEEE GRSS and the various applications of remote sensing in GIS. 


Meeta Rajivlochan gave the keynote address in which she spoke about the importance of GIS technology in the agricultural sector. She stressed on the importance of knowledge and productivity and the integration of geoinformatics and research in current education programmes which would help India transition into a knowledge economy. She also thanked DBIT for hosting the event.


Various topics like Principles of Remote Sensing, GRSS activities, Research issues in Geospatial Analysis, Smart Agriculture, GIS in climate resilient agriculture, Transit in the times of GTS, the Urban and Rural divide were covered by the research scholars.

The two-day event ended with a promise to have hands-on workshops on various topics at the earliest convenient time. The session also introduced various research and career options related to the field, to the students present there. It provided an opportunity for IT, computer and electronics engineering faculties to join hands with Remote Sensing and GIS for solving real world problems.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017


by Susan D'costa


KUWAIT, OCT 4, 2017: Over one thousand youth participated in a Biblical Quiz competition, on selected parables from the Gospels, organised by a group of parishioners under the patronage of Hindi Bhashi Samudday (HBS), affiliated to the parish of St. Therese of the Child Jesus, Kuwait at the Indian English Academy School, Kuwait on September 29.  


The students from standards four to ten spent part of their three-month summer break studying selected parables of Jesus, which was the mandated portion by the organisers. The elimination round, a written test was held on September 15, and 1200 youth participated. Twenty eight toppers were then selected and grouped into four teams, namely Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Each team had seven participants.


In the mega quiz held on September 29, the four teams competed. Father Blany Pinto, Father Francisco Pereira, Father Johnson Nedumpurath, and Father Lionel Braganza were present during the finale.


Father Pinto in his opening message to the participants said, "By knowing the Bible we gain knowledge and this must lead to wisdom". He stressed that in participating in the quiz, one should never be over competitive but take part and make use of the knowledge we get, in our daily lives." Father Nedumpurath added, "Each parable of Jesus has a lesson for each one of us. If we reflect on the words deeply we get more insight and it becomes more meaningful."


The quiz consisted of seven rounds of questioning, namely, Ice breaker, Seek and you shall find, Knock and you shall receive, Audio-visuals, Parable quotes, Reflections and Rapid fire. The questions put forth to the teams were intriguing, exciting and made the audience go 'Aah!' and clap when the teams answered correctly. The audience actively participated in the various audience rounds. Maryann Soares, coordinator of team Matthew said, "The quiz was a huge success. Very well organised thanks to the hard efforts of the organisers".


Father Pereira advised the participants that like the neighbour in the parable, "Friend in need" (Luke 11), we should know when to pray and knock on the right door, do not delay to ask God for something you need. He also explained the symbol of the three breads in the parable, which refers to the Holy Trinity. He mentioned "How much more will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?"(Luke 11:19). He said that in this verse we have the Holy Trinity: Father, Holy Spirit and Jesus, who is narrating it to us.


The results were then declared. Team John stood first, and all members were awarded gold trophies along with the Championship Rolling Trophy, second position went to team Luke, and all members were awarded silver trophies, third position was bagged by team Matthew, all members were awarded silver medals, and team Mark in the fourth position were awarded with bronze medals. All the participants received certificates. Valence Fernandes, from the winning team, said, "It was a nerve-wracking experience. But all-in-all I had a great time."


Father Braganza interacted with the participants on parables, asked what their understanding was and explained the essence of parables. He also informed the participants of the very essence of the number '3' which appears many times in the Bible. The number 3 always refers to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.


The six months of relentless hard work by the organising team, along with the support of Father Pereira, Father Rodrigues, resulted in the event panning out as a success. "The parable quiz was well organised from start to finish. We appreciate all the efforts of the organisers and look to many more Bible quizzes," Violet D'Souza, a parent of one of the participants, said.

Monday, October 2, 2017


by Wilfred Vaz


KUWAIT, OCT 2, 2017: To fortify the spiritual growth of parishioners who are actively involved in the various ministries of the Church of St. Therese of the Child Jesus in Kuwait, Father Francisco Pereira conducted a recollection – which was attended by 93 parishioners - on September 23.


Several issues were touched up on during the recollection. They included strategies for personal prayer, overcoming personal and family problems through the power of prayer, experiencing improved and renewed relationship with loved ones, interceding for family members and others, and praying for the situations that the Holy Spirit reveals when we are in prayer. 


The recollection commenced with the screening of the movie - The War Room. It gave a startling revelation that 'prayer room' is actually a 'war room' where each one has to battle their worldly desires, spiritual frailties and sinfulness with prayer as the weapon complemented with holy Scripture. The movie helped the participants identify themselves with the characters and resolved to implement a change in their personal lives. "The Recollection explicitly brought out the power of prayer as a weapon, defence and energiser," Virgilio Rangel of the Choirs Ministry, said.


The participants were then put into groups to discuss the questions that were based on the movie. The members shared the wealth of learning that was received. After the group-discussion, the recollection venue was converted into a 'war room' where the participants deeply introspected, meditated and prayed in silence. The participants were also instructed that petitions and intercessions could be written on post-it slips and pasted on the board that was kept for the purpose. Prayers and intercessions were then offered up to God at the Offertory during holy Mass. "My learning from the recollection is that we need to intercede for others and spend more time in reading the Bible," Basil Lobo of the Eucharistic Minsters, said.


Father Pereira then explained how to read the Scripture meaningfully. He mentioned that when one reads the Holy Bible, there has to be a 'revelation'; the Word of God should reveal a unique message to the reader. The revealed message should trigger a 'revolution' in the reader, that is a thirst and desire to change one's life in tune with the will of God. Lastly, a firm 'resolution' should be made to stay committed to the change despite circumstances that may compel one to return to their former way of life.


The culmination of the recollection was the celebration of the Holy Eucharist; during the homily, Father Pereira spoke on the teachings of the Catechism of the Catholic Church on Prayer. Prayer Cards were given to all the participants as a personal gift from Father Pereira. "It was truly a beautiful and enriching experience, I am blessed to be a part of this parish," Pamela Viegas from the Liturgical Ministry, said.